Football / IFL

Big Blue Holds Off Petah Tikva in Season Opener

Judean Rebels romp over defending champion Tel Aviv.

Gad Fogel

The Israel Football League season opened this past week with the Jerusalem “Big Blue” Lions staving off a late-stage comeback bid by the Petah Tikva “Glanelm” Troopers to prevail 42-32.

Elsewhere, the Judean “Orli Print” Rebels sent the defending champion Tel Aviv “Hotel Gilgal” Pioneers into the wilderness with a 50-6 romp, while Ramat Hasharon Hammers decimated the Be’er Sheva “Travel Leaders” Black Swarm 70-0.

The game in Jerusalem was preceded with a tribute to beloved referee Howie Osterer, who passed away suddenly last Tuesday.

The home team Lions got off to a quick start and led by 18 points at the half. The Troopers, behind QB E.J. Glatt, staged a furious comeback before it was sniffed out by Effi Mishaan’s kick return touchdown with under three minutes remaining in the game. David Abell caught two TDs and ran for another for the victors, while Glatt passed for 3 and ran for 2 more for the visiting Troopers.

In the contest between the Rebels and Tel Aviv, the Judean aerial attack dominated the defending champion Pioneers from start to finish. The Rebels started the game strong and never let up, with the defense matching the offense’s impressive performance, forcing Pioneer QB Adi Hakami into 5/25 passing, with 1 TD and 2 interceptions.

Rebels’ QB Avrami Farkas had a superb day, going 18/25 for 289 yards, 7 TDs and 1 interception. Dani Eastman, Gideon Reiz and Shmuel Avruch each caught 2 touchdown passes for the Rebels.

In the meeting between Ramat Hasharon and Be’er Sheva, the Hammers' defense and special teams each forced an early fumble. The Swarm’s fortunes went all downhill from there, as the Hammers dominated all three facets of the game. Jonathan Curran had 2 passing TDs and three rushing TDs for the Hammers, Beto Gonzales threw 4 TDs, and Bar Rudich caught 3 for the visiting Hammers.

- (Photo in Atex of the Judean Rebels Avrami Farkas - photo credit Gad Fogel)